Important things first

If an activity is important to us, we should give it a place in the first row.

If we love drawing, painting, reading or whatever we should consider to do it after waking up.

The moment we wake up is the moment when we have the most time of the day.

If we start in the morning and get the most important thing done we have won the day.

And if we continue the win one day after the other we win our lives.

Change over time

Today, for the first time in a decade, I’ve been walking through my home village. It was exciting to see how I noticed quite different things than then.

Buildings or streets that have been unchanged for ages have been perceived differently by me. I have changed, so my perception and recognition.

We should give things and people a new chance from time to time. Maybe they stay the same, but we change enough to make new tries and new connections happen.

Bubble

How would our art change, if we create in a bubble without reference and outside inspiration, just pure imagination?

I try this with my recent seascape paintings and they look quite different. They become more abstract, colorful and moody. It is more about suggestion instead of recreation. The painting process feels more natural and enjoyable. It’s a great experience and I will experiment more in this direction.

Showering

Showering is a really good activity to welcome new ideas. Ideas tend to appear when we do not expect them. Hopefully we are ready to receive and executed on them. So let’s grab a towel and start.

Changing

I am really used to paint on canvas. I like the material, its texture, its weight and flexibility.

But because I don’t want to create the same paintings again and again I change little or big things in process to see how the result might change.

That’s why I paint on wood, metal, old books and glass at the moment. It is a try. It is a change. It is a risk. It is chance to become better.

Little pleasure

One thing I really like is to throw an empty paint tube on a big stack of other empty paint tubes.

When I see this stack I am reminded of all the work that I have done so far. This is easy to forget if you paint a lot and all the artworks are shipped out or stored somewhere.

So I smile and grap a new tube.

Foundation first

There are two things that are important in learning to create representational art:

1. THE FOUNDATION or foundational skills

The foundational skills are so called because they form the foundation of what we do. We build on them. It does not matter which house we put on top of the foundation but how stable it is. Foundational skills are:

  • drawing (placement of things)
  • edges (transition of values/colors)
  • color (including value)

If we can control those and we can rely heavily on them, we have formed a strong starting point for our art.

2. THE HOUSE or medium specific skills

If we control the foundational skills we can worry about the house we want to live in (or the specific skills of our chosen medium). Each medium shares the same fundamentals. That is why we learn the second medium faster, after we learned the first one. The fundamentals (drawing, edges, value, color) are in place, so we just need to understand what is difference between medium A (for example oils) and medium B (for example watercolors).

This is an efficient way to learn and it makes a lot of fun experimenting with different media while the fundamentals stay nice.

Waiting

I stand in a long line and wait. I’m waiting. And waiting.

The internet has enabled us to start instead of waiting for something. That’s one of its most ingenious skills.

Idols

What makes our idols great? Their idols.

What made the idols of our idols great? The idols of the idols of our idols.

If we follow these road we understand how styles and “unique” vision develop.

We might find our own.

Support

It is important to understand the support of a painting. It is like a skeleton and forms the fundamental structure that carriers the paint over the years. The support must be chosen and/or build wisely. All the different materials a support consists of are affecting the longevity of a painting.

So if we care about oir painting affords, we should care about our materials too.